Corona Round-Up: Recent study confirms ‘mix and match’ vaccinations are just as effective

According to a study published by Statens Serum Institut (SSI) on August 2, a combination of AstraZeneca and either Pfizer or Moderna is almost as effective at warding off corona than a two-shot dose of the same vaccine.

According to the results, a mixed vaccination will only lower the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 from 90 to 88 percent.

This is particularly important in Denmark since the AstraZeneca vaccine was scrapped, leaving many people requiring an alternative second dose.

Not officially recognised everywhere
Nevertheless, some countries, such as Thailand, are not quite on the same page as Denmark, as they do not officially recognise a mixed vaccination.

All those seeking to enjoy their regained freedom of travelling around the globe are advised to check the relevant countries’ stance before embarking.

Professor: Best to forget about those who don’t want to be vaccinated
According to ongoing surveys conducted by Gallup and Epinion since February, around 5 percent of the public have turned down the chance to get vaccinated. Professor Michael Bang Petersen from Aarhus University told DR that the authorities would be best off forgetting about the 5 percent and focusing their efforts on the other 95 percent getting fully vaccinated as quickly as possible. Anti-vaxxers, he explained, are often sceptical due to “some unfortunate experiences where they have felt marginalized or excluded by the authorities”.

Professor: Close to 85 percent of the population immune
Professor Jan Pravsgaard Christensen, an expert on infectious immunology at the University of Copenhagen, estimates that around 85 percent of the population are now immune to the virus – either due to vaccination or after catching COVID-19. While herd immunity is not determined by an absolute quantity, it could be achieved with even as little as 60 percent immunity, he suggests. Many of the anti-vaxxers will contribute to the herd  by simply catching COVID-19 and becoming immune that way, he added, so there is limited value in trying to convince the final few percent to get the vaccine.

Professor: Time to make a third booster shot available
Professor Jan Pravsgaard Christensen, an expert on infectious immunology at the University of Copenhagen, contends that once everyone who wants to receive the vaccine has had the opportunity to take it, resources should be directed at giving the most vulnerable groups a third booster shot. Prof Henrik Nielsen of Aalborg University agrees, adding that a booster will be particularly important in the autumn and winter, but that it is too early to say who exactly should receive the third jab. While Iceland and Israel have already established a third jab program, Nielsen believes there is no pressure for a hasty decision in Denmark, and that more research is needed to prepare for a possible third jab program for the winter.

Foreign Ministry advises against travelling to UK
The UK make have opened it doors to fully-vaccinated visitors from the Schengen-area and the USA, but the Danish authorities are advising people in Denmark to hold off their visit for now. Given the high number of cases in the UK, there is still a high risk of catching the virus and bringing it home. 

Four-fifths have had their first jab, two-thirds complete coverage
An impressive 81 percent of the entire population have now received their first shot, which isn’t bad given that the under-10s will not be vaccinated and they account for over 10 percent of the population. Furthermore, 66.4 percent are fully vaccinated. In total, 318,485 people in Denmark have been vaccinated – approximately one in 18 of the population. Some 54 people are currently hospitalised, of whom eight are in intensive care. The  death toll stands at 2,550.